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Import Diesel VW TDI, Mercedes, and other Import Diesel Discussion can be found here.

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
VMAX
 
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What VW TDI cars are reliable?

My wife got a brand new 2002 jetta 1.8 gas turbo car. That car was the biggest POS I have ever been around.

Week two Motor locks up
6 months Turbo is trashed
1 year new tranny
Warranty goes out and the problems keep coming. Until it was finally sold.

My mom had a Beetle TDI (dont know the year probably 02-04) it was in the shop so many times my mom finally decided to sell it then it got totaled.

I hear a bunch of people loving the TDI'S and I would like to consider getting one for a commuter car but what years ect do I stay away from? I hear the auto trannys suck but that is about all I know.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #2
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I think it just depends on what day of the week the car was built and whether or not the lords of the auto world got laid the night before My Jetta is an 02, the original auto tranny and timing belt made it till 165,000 miles. It now has 240k on it and the only thing that does not work as factory is the driver door latch/unlatch switch is bad.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:43 PM   #3
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Just got an 02 jetta tdi w/ 5-spd. Car has 297k miles. Local mechanic guy says he's opened em up with over 400k miles & still look great. Mine has new(ish) injectors, injection pump, fuel pump, water pump, 100k mi timing belt, shocks/struts & battery so I fig most anything that would go with miles, has been replaced. . Exception is the clutch. Have most service records for car & no record of a clutch being put in it. Hard to imagine the stocker would make it that many miles but idk.

Guess we'll see she goes. I'm hoping for very minimal expense per mile.
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02 VW Jetta TDI ALH 5spd 316k and counting
 
Old 01-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #4
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Mine had been great for the 60,000 miles I have put on it. It's had one clutch and glow plug go out in 120,000.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #5
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The way i understand it is the 99-02 or 03 manual transmission cars are the most reliable/desirable. I love my 98, the only problem its going to have is the body will rust in half before the powertrain will die.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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well......


my sisters 04 with an auto and 100k is still going strong and her husbands 04 with 170k too.


however my first and current jetta which is an 06 with 168k at the time of purchase, needed a new clutch. now found out it needs a cam. besides that its been decent. dunno if i would buy another one tho.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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The passat, golf and jetta all have the same engine and trannys? Wish they had that TDI in a frontier sized truck I would be all over that.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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the passat had a 2.0 tdi I believe at least in the newer years
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94 2wd auto dodge "The Baby Truck" For sale!
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Anybody that would not haul a dinosaur for an orphanage is no friend of mine.
To some people it's all about money. Geez
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #9
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I have a 02 tdi, changed belt, water pump, bushings
at 98.000. I just bought a new intake on e-bay, will
change in spring. Other then oil and fuel filter change
nothing else.
 
Old 01-03-2012, 06:34 PM   #10
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There's been 6 in my family alone. Three have seen the autocross track and one of those was a 12 sec. NA VR6. I have turbo'd 3 VR6's and played with many others. Funny thing is all have been very reliable, even the modded turbo cars...well except one a friend tried someone else's turbo chip...but I fixed it with all new pistons...
I have been around these cars for hundered's of thousand miles and have never seen a problem child like the one described by the OP, but if you build enough of em you will have some bad ones.

Historically VW's NA motors are good for 4-600k miles all day long, I have seen at least a dozen of them over 500k! But like anything else it all comes down to what does the owner do in the first 10 seconds after its been started? This not only impacts lubricated surfaces but may aspects of the car, especially in areas on harsh winters.

That said, however they are not the most reliable car on the road and far from being the worst. What they are coveted for is their character. They are fun to drive. People often say how they just find a reason to drive them. Get into a Honda, albeit very reliable they have no personality and are very bland and boring to drive. I have owned so many cars in my life and all of them modded one way or another from high HP V8's (Chevelles Camaros, mustangs and many more) to quite a few of the rice cars mixed in among the many trucks. many were GREAT vehicles but none of them ever possessed the character of the VWs. As long as they keep building them that way I'll buy another new one in a few years. After all I mod everything to my liking anyway...you should see far far my snowblower can shoot snow ROFL
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #11
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He was asking about TDIs.

I liked my 2.slow MK3 but for some odd reason loved my 85 MK2 1.6L diesel.

Sent from my rooted Velocity Ally
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:22 PM   #12
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My 02 Golf TDI has been Awesome!!!

I've driven it 35k miles in the last 3.5 years and now just turned 100k miles.. Other than the factory ac compressor going out it hasn't needed anything except the 80k timing belt/water pump , etc service.


Anything owned by me "Swole" and not blown up, HAS TO BE good!! lol
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:03 AM   #13
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For now ....


On Tapatalk so scuse my spellin
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:28 AM   #14
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That settles it my family is cursed with VWS I guess lol. My wife wanted to buy a used Toureg after we sold our 02 jetta. At the dealer while looking at them I went over to the service department and started asking about the problems we faced with the Jetta. I recall him explaining that the generation we had (01 to whatever) was known for problems but the following generation Jetta's were virtually problem free. I dont know how much truth that conversation had to it but I do remember it. I refused the Toureg because of the Jettas problems. It was a nice ride though.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:25 AM   #15
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I have had great luck with them.

Maintenance is key though. Timing Belt/ Water pump etc.

my 99 TDI Golf is pushing 150k on it, original auto trans still.
I had some self inflected issues turbo etc but aside from that all is good.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldestof11 View Post
He was asking about TDIs.

Well that does include a few TDI's.

My wifes albeit @ 170k and 14 years old now has only ever had a water pump and an intercooler boot fail. Everything else has been maintenance, belts struts brakes tires, intake cleaning etc.

a good friend of mine is at 320k on another 98 TDI. He has not had any failures other than a wimpy turbo we replaced which really was a stuck waste gate @ 280k.

I know a handful of TDI's with high mileage and their owners love them, however I don't wrench on them so I cant comment as far as any repairs.


Sop the point of the earlier post was to say while I have a lot of experience with VW's you don't buy them for reliability. In Fact you don't buy anything man made for reliability.

So if its an issue of asking SPECIFICALLY about a TDI go to the real source for that info... Freds TDI .. While diesel related here its really the big three so ...asking about TDI's here is like asking autozone to actually fix your car. They can fix a battery or change a wiper but they can't R&R the transmission.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:11 PM   #17
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StuckInMud just stepped on a few toes round here!



Sick'em Billysgoat!!!! lol
I know you got mad skillz with a TDI!
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #18
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Well I didn't care for the comment with the laugh either..

I paid my dues and enough for others in the VW scene..still play with'em too. To have a single 2.0l owner (2.slow) not just comment but criticize my response to TDI question.. When actually his old VW diesel wasn't even a TDI ! Read my other post I actually own one..love it and am looking for a new home for it when I buy a new one in the next couple of years..
Truth is as its said in many other posts.. Freds is the holy grail for TDI stuff, you can get it here like you can get a wiper changed at autozone.

Flame suit on!
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
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StuckInMud just stepped on a few toes round here!



Sick'em Billysgoat!!!! lol
I know you got mad skillz with a TDI!
Why would I get on him? He speaks the truth, when it comes to TDI's I will gladly send someone elsewhere that has a huge knowledge base. We have some really good TDI guys here, but not that many in the grand scheme of things. I don't have mad skillz with a TDI, I'm just a competent mechanic who can take in new systems and learn them fairly quickly
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Click the image to open in full size.

BTB,BBB
 
Old 01-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #20
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He did say TDI, but he was obviously worried about the whole car. At least that's how I took it with the original post. And I had the same question since I will be looking for one in the next month.
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